Debate and Diplomacy in History
During the 2021-2022 academic year, National History Day (NHD) students will explore topics relating to the theme Debate and Diplomacy in History. Some topics might be stories of debate and diplomacy, while others might cover debate with little diplomatic effort or diplomacy without debate. Students must investigate to determine whether one or both of those themes are present in their narrative.
Think of debate and diplomacy as a chess game. Several pieces are on the board, each with its unique talents and abilities. Some moves are aggressive and designed to advance the player one step closer to checkmate. Other actions involve the sacrifice of certain game pieces to advance.
Debates are formal or informal meetings where people argue opposing views. Some debates involve two sides, while others involve three (or more) perspectives. Diplomacy usually involves negotiating, compromising, and communicating with people or nations to find a nonviolent solution. Debate and diplomacy can occur independently or be intertwined. Can diplomacy lead to new debates? Can debates lack diplomacy?
Ashley Foley Dabbracio, Programs Assistant, National History Day®